Some skinny on short rows

Short rows are so meta aren't they? Perform a little fancy stitchwork and you've got rows within rows, three dimensions, space where none existed before. Short rows are almost like cheating or crochet, allowing you to take your knitting into a spatial direction, a final frontier of heels, busts and sleeve caps.

It helps if you have one of those minds that conceptualizes things in space. Maybe you know your right ankle from your left hand so the yoga teacher doesn't have to untangle your limbs. Maybe you can walk through a room without bruising a hip or tripping on a rug. Maybe you can load a dishwasher or remember where you put the mango chutney in the fridge.

For those of us who are more spatially challenged, throwing short rows into shoulders and yokes and their ilk creates head-scratching short circuits. This will work, how? The shoulder will slope, really?

Big Red (for lack of a better working name), a funnel-neck pullover I'm designing top-down just because, is lousy with short rows to accommodate shoulders and upper arms and it's a mystery how a few wraps and turns can make a garment contour better to the body.

In workshopping this garment with two knitter friends, I worried out loud that I might not be short-rowing correctly. Do you pick up the wrap or stitch first? How do you purl them together on the wrong side? For a review on the subtlties, look to the excellent Knittinghelp.com, scroll down until you see "Short Row with Wrap." The video shows that indeed you pick up the wrap first as well as how to check that you've "hidden" your wrap correctly. Now if I could only keep from twisting my stitches.




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